Obedience training usually refers to the training of a dog and the term is most commonly used in that context. Obedience training ranges from very basic training, such as teaching the dog to reliably respond to basic commands such as “sit,” “down,” “come,” and “stay,” to high level competition within clubs, where additional commands, accuracy and performance are scored and judged.
Obedience implies compliance with the direction or command given by the handler. For a dog to be considered obedient rather than simply trained in obedience, it must respond reliably each time its handler gives a command.
Training a dog in obedience can be an ongoing and lengthy process depending on the dog, the methods used, and the skill and understanding of both the trainer and the handler. The level of obedience the handler wishes to achieve with the dog is also a major factor in the time involved, as is the commitment to training by the handler.
Obedience training is often a prerequisite for or component of other training.
The actual training of the dog can be done by anyone, the trainer, owner, or a friend. Typically the individual who is caring for and living with the dog participates and trains the dog, as they will be the one who will be giving the commands. The relationship and trust between the dog and handler are important for success.
Basic or beginner’s obedience is typically a short course ranging from six to ten weeks, where it is demonstrated to the handler how to communicate with and train the dog in a few simple commands. With most methods the dog is trained one command at a time. Though there may or may not be a specific word attached to it, walking properly on a leash, or leash control, is often the first training required prior to learning other commands.
The specific command word is not important, but consistency in usage is. There are certain commands that are accepted as standard and commonly used.
- Sit: The dog is in a sitting position.
- Down: A dog is typically down when its elbows (front feet) and hocks (rear legs) are touching the ground or floor.
- Heel: The dog’s head or shoulder is parallel to the handler’s leg on the left side of the handler.
- Come or Here: (referred to as the recall) “Call your dog” equals “come” or “here”.
- Stay: The dog must remain in the position (sit, down, stand) and location under which the command was given until it is released by the handler.
- Stand: While the dog is sitting by your side at heel, hold your treat in your fingers, lure the dog forward. Praise the dog once they move forward into a stand.
- Stop: a dog that will simply stop whatever it is doing and lie down on command no matter how far it is from its keeper is a dog that can be taken anywhere.
- Back up: keepers of large dogs or dogs with a reputation for aggressiveness can make strangers more comfortable by teaching the dog to back up on command.
- Growl: the inverse of backing up. Some owners teach non-aggressive dogs to growl on a subtle command – not the word growl, usually a small hand gesture – as a way of letting strangers know that you and your dog value being left alone.
- Shake: Directs the dog to shake whole body. Generally used after bathing or swimming to prevent dog from soaking owner.
- Shake Hands or Shake: Directs dog to lift paw and place it in the hand of the owner as if shaking hands.
- Steady: keep near by. The dog can walk free, but not dash off.
- Stand: dog stands still. Useful for grooming. Many dogs are groomed frequently and need to stand quietly during the process.
- Go to bed, kennel, or get in: Directs the dog to go to its bed or its crate and to remain there until released. The dog has freedom of movement in that location to stand up, turn around, or lie down, unlike when placed in a Stay. Useful to keep a dog out from underfoot and safe in a busy or complicated situation.
- Drop or drop it: Dogs pick up all sorts of things, some of which they shouldn’t have. A dog that drops anything on command, no matter how attractive (and “attractive” to a dog can be “rotten and smelly” to a human), is a dog under control that the owner can prevent from eating dangerous items or from destroying valued personal property.
- Leave it: An adjunct to Drop, directing the dog to not touch an item. Also useful before the dog has picked anything up. Leave it is also used in conjunction with Take it.
- Take it: The dog leaves a desired object, such as a toy or treat, untouched until given this command. Alternatively, the dog takes and holds an object which it has no interest in. This can protect an owner’s, visitor’s, or child’s fingers.
- Give: The dog has an object in its mouth and “gives” it to its owner by releasing the object into the owner’s hand. Object of choice in training is usually a light-weight dumbbell or a glove. This is useful for when your dog has one of your belongings and you want it back before the dog hides it or chews it up.
- Speak: A dog, when taught this command, will bark once (or more) when told to do so.
- Roll Over: When taught this command a dog will lie down, roll over, and stand back up.
- Attack: A dog will attack something (or someone) when told to do so. Common commands are either “Attack” or “Sic’em”.
- Fetch: A dog will retrieve a thrown object (usually a ball or a stick) and bring it back to the one who threw it.
- Place: The dog is trained to go to a certain place and stay there until released, usually a place in the house selected by owner.
- With me: used when walking your dog to keep them at your side and with your pace.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia